Trump seizes on Barr's 'spying' remark

Source: The Hill | April 11, 2019 | Brett Samuels

President Trump said Thursday that he “absolutely” believes there was “unprecedented” spying on his campaign in 2016, a day after Attorney General William Barr made the assertion during testimony on Capitol Hill.

“I think what he said was absolutely true,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the South Korean president.

“There was absolutely spying into my campaign,” he continued. “I’ll go a step further. In my opinion it was illegal spying, unprecedented spying and something that should never be allowed to happen in our country again.”

The president on Thursday reiterated his call for a probe into the origins of the investigation of his 2016 campaign, calling the alleged surveillance “treason” and suggesting it would be a “disservice to our country” not to look into his claims.

“You’re just lucky I happened to be the president because a lot of other presidents would have reacted much differently than I reacted,” Trump added. “You’re very lucky I was the president during this scam.”

Barr said Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that he is looking into efforts by the FBI to investigate members of the Trump campaign before the 2016 election.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”

Asked later whether he wanted to clarify his use of the word “spying,” Barr said he was looking into whether “improper surveillance” may have occurred in 2016.

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